The Patriots released fullback James Develin on Monday.

Develin, 25, spent the majority of the 2012 season on the New England practice squad and four weeks on the 53-man roster, seeing action in one game vs. San Francisco on Dec. 16.

Buffalo wide receiver Stevie Johnson kicked off the regular season with a bang Monday, telling reporters he doesn’t “think [the Patriots] have anybody to stop me.”

Johnson was asked why he feels the Bills can compete with New England, which has won nine of the last 10 AFC East titles.

FOXBORO — For the first time since making the decision to cut Tim Tebow from the roster, Bill Belichick spoke Monday about the decision to keep just two quarterbacks on the roster.

Belichick was asked directly why the team decided to release Tebow and keep Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett.

FOXBORO — In a bit of a surprise, Rob Gronkowski made his return this week to the practice field and was taken off PUP on Saturday.

To no one’s surprise, Bill Belichick isn’t reading into that as a sure sign of anything this week, including whether or not he would be ready to play Sunday in the season opener at Buffalo.

Belichick acknowledged that his return to the practice field in pads on Sunday and shorts and shells Monday was a good first step but not much more.

FOXBORO — For a second straight day, Rob Gronkowski was in attendance at Patriots practice as the team worked out in shorts and shells on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium Monday morning.

Gronkowski was running warm-up drills with the offensive unit at the start of practice but was not spotted catching any passes.

FOXBORO — Less than 24 hours after releasing him to make room on the 53-man roster for four players signed off waivers, the Patriots re-signed cornerback Marquice Cole Monday morning.

To make room, the team waived undrafted rookie offensive guard Josh Kline.

FOXBORO — The Patriots may have cut Tim Tebow but they are getting his number one weapon back on the team.

Receiver Quentin Sims was claimed back by the Patriots on Sunday and signed to the practice squad, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

FOXBORO — Late Sunday afternoon the Patriots confirmed the release of veterans Leon Washington and Marquice Cole to set their roster at 53 players in preparation for their season opener next Sunday in Buffalo.

FOXBORO — The Leon Washington era in New England is over before it even really started. Washington was not spotted at practice on Sunday and he was made expendable as the Patriots chose to keep Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley.

The 31-year-old Washington was projected as the Patriots’ top returner in the punt game. That responsibility is likely to fall to Julian Edelman.

FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski was back on the practice field for the first time all summer on Sunday afternoon as the Patriots practiced in full pads on the grass fields outside Gillette Stadium. Prior to Sunday, Gronkowski had been limited to only agility drills in sweats and shorts and had not been spotted in full uniform.

The tight end who has had three surgeries on his left forearm and another on his back in the offseason was taken off PUP on Saturday and placed on the active roster on Saturday before the 6 p.m. deadline.